Excelsior Parklet Project
The Excelsior community is abuzz in front of Mama Art Café (4754 Mission Street), marveling at the work of two local nonprofit organizations that have joined together to bring the neighborhood its first public parklet. This project aims to establish a creative and green gathering space for the Excelsior’s diverse community, which increases pedestrian activity along the corridor and fosters a sense of pride in our community. Harnessing the support and passion of the Excelsior community, as well as the creativity of San Francisco public high school students and local government, the Excelsior Action Group and Out of Site Youth Arts Center have made this student-designed parklet a reality. Ten youths from Out of Site and a few adult volunteers worked together to build something that will have a permanent and positive impact in the community.
Despite the rainy weather over the past few weeks, community volunteers and Out of Site students have labored hand in hand to construct the parklet. Instrumental in bringing this project to fruition was designer Craig Hollow of Sagan Piechota Architecture, who planned and supervised construction in collaboration with Out of Site instructor Raffaella Falchi. In addition to funding from OEWD and YEF, the production of the parklet was also supported by many generous benefactors, including Escheguron Slate, Ashby Lumber, Heritage Salvage, Walter Mork Company, Pagoda Arts, and over 60 individual donors who attended the Excelsior Action Group's Parklet Fundraiser. Finally, this project has received immense support and guidance from local government agencies, including OEWD, the Planning Department, MTA, DPW, and District 11 Supervisor Avalos's office.
Conversing with customers at the parklet in the afternoon sun, owner of Mama Art Cafe Paulo Cabezas exclaimed, "I speak on behalf of my team and my customers when I say that we are humbled and grateful that Mama Art Cafe has been selected to be the site of the first parklet in the Excelsior. Our community parklet will be a site of inspiration, improving the overall atmosphere of our corridor on Mission Street, making the Excelsior a better place to live and work!" On Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM, the Excelsior Action Group, Out of Site, and Mama Art Cafe sponsored an Excelsior Community Block Party at the parklet. Everyone was invited to honor and celebrate the incredible work that has gone into creating this new public space for the Excelsior.